Frankfurter Strasse 80 (HH)
D-63067 Offenbach am Main
Exhibition and Performance: "Lady Mikado"
Lady Mikado is an interdisciplinary project. Starting point was a text I wrote, that turned into an artists book and is also the background of a portfolio of typographical prints. At the same time, the text inspired a Polish video artist, Grzegorz Zgraja, to do a video, that was in turn the the starting point for a piece of improvised music (performing musicians: Ulrike Stoltz, Grzegorz Zgraja, Henryk Roemisch, Ulryk Zgraja). For the IMPACT conference we are presenting the book, the prints, the video and the performance.
The work is a collaboration of German and Polish artists, a KONTAKT between printing and video, visual art and music, text and image and sound. The text that formed the basis of the project is in German. It does not tell a story, but strings together fragments of phrases, parts of which are alienated and repeated and mixed with pictorial passages. The prints in the portfolio use only the text, but words and letters were cut into pieces and then rearranged thus creating new images.
The book uses some of these typographical images, combining them with fragments of photographs which creates a tension between the abstract signs and a kind of representation of reality. The book has two parts: text and images are separated.
Both the prints in the portfolio and the book are ink-jet prints (using archival ink). The video does not "illustrate" the text; one sees atmospheric pictures in which photographic and typographic elements are interwoven. Text becomes image, and the rhythm of the moving pictures has its own musicality. The video and its audio track provide a framework for the improvised music (voice, trumpet, organ pipes, flutes, bass, vibraphone, percussion).
The whole project is about answers and mirrorings, about transformation and translation: from one language to another, from language into typographic form, from both language and typography into video, from the moving image to music and sound, and to spoken language and text again.
The first performance of "Lady Mikado" was on November 14, 2004, at the Theaterhaus in Jena, as part of the jazz festival "Jazzmeile Thueringen." Artists participating in this project include Ulrike Stoltz (texts, typography, prints, artists books, voice); Grzegorz G. Zgraja (video installation, trumpet, organ pipes, flutes); Henryk Roemisch (sound, bass, industrial percussion, electronics); Ulryk Zgraja (vibraphone, percussion). The performance is 35 minutes in duration. More information on the project is posted at: http://www.boatbook.de/aktuell/index.htm
(AV Needs: 4 mikes and amplifier)
ULRIKE STOLTZ is an artist with focus on artists books, prints (letter press and digital), drawings and installations. She studied Visual Communications at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung Offenbach, Germany; and is now professor for typography at the University of Art and Design/Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste Braunschweig, Germany. From 1986 till 2001 she was a member of "Unica T" (the name of a ficticious person making real books) Since 2001 she continues to collaborate with Uta Schneider as ‹usus›. She also studied voice training (with Sula Ackermann), jazz singing (with Regina Klein) and overtone singing (with Christian Zehnder and Miroslav Rajkowski). She has exhibited and lectured worldwide, recently, for example: lecture at the international conference "Beautiful Books," Beijing, China (December 2004). Stoltz's most recent one-person exhibition "trans-lation" was shown at the Gallery of the University of Art and Design/Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste Braunschweig (June 2004) and at the Galleria il Sotoportego, Venezia, Italia (February/March 2004). Recent group exhibitions include "13 +: Contemporary Book Art from Germany" at the National Library in Tallin, Estonia (June 2004) and at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA (November 2003).
GRZEGORZ ZGRAJA is an artist focusing on video art and music. He studied at the Academy of Art in Krakow (Poland), and is now teaching video and graphic design at the University of Art and Design/Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste Braunschweig (Germany). He was among the first artists in Poland working with video (mid-70s), co-founder of the group "Laboratorium TP," and has exhibited worldwide. In his work he combines image and music, aesthetics and technology. See his web site at: http://www.zgraja-ava.de/frameset.html
HENRYK ROEMISCH plays bass and is also responsible for creating the audio-track of the "Lady Mikado" video.